Mark Lloyd / Extreme Sailing Series

Fog bound in Qingdao

Awkward start for Extreme Sailing Series' Chinese regatta

Thursday April 30th 2015, Author: Nicola Dawson, Location: China

Persistent heavy fog and poor visibility forced the cancellation of racing on day one at the Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao. It is only the fourth time in the nine-year history of the Series that Mother Nature has forced the organisers to cancel racing, and the first time due to fog.

Famous for its mixed conditions, this morning’s forecast was for a building five knot breeze and hazy conditions clearing through the day, but in fact Qingdao had other things in mind.

Race Director Phil Lawrence explained: “We were all set up and the teams were going through their practice run when a fogbank rolled in from offshore”. With visibility quickly falling to 40m, Lawrence was forced to make a call: “Racing was impossible and we initiated our fog control plan with the fleet and supporting boats quickly returning to shore. Despite being held for two hours the fog became thicker instead of lifting and racing was abandoned for the day.”

Today a new partnership was announced with the Sultanate of Oman’s national airline – Oman Air. The partnership with Oman Air sees a full ‘360 activation’ from the airline, supporting not only a competing team, but now as an event supplier. This latest addition to the family of Series partners further strengthens the Extreme Sailing Series position as the leading sponsor-funded global sailing circuit.

As Official Airline to the Series, Oman Air also took the opportunity to confirm China will be their 49th destination, playing a major role in increasing the number of travellers to the Sultanate of Oman and providing a thriving gateway for business and tourism.

With three full days of racing planned for the national holiday weekend here in China, the forecast is looking promising, but with Qingdao already catching the sailors off guard anything could happen.

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